Arusha — Optimism was high on Saturday as one of the leading hotels in Arusha opened after a four-month closure due to Covid-19 outbreak.
Four Points by Sheraton, The Arusha Hotel, swung its doors open as it registered the first guests in months and meetings with prospects of sustained business.
"There are good signs some leading hotels will reopen. The focus now is on domestic business." said the outfit's general manager Krishna Suri.
The hotel, located in the city's prime area and only metres from the iconic Clock Tower, was closed in the first week of April as the epidemic started to bite.
"This is a soft opening mainly for the main wing. We anticipate getting back to business slowly," he told The Citizen.
Only 10 rooms had been booked for accommodation while one of its largest meeting halls was hosting a meeting of the mining sector. The five-star hotel is one of the oldest hospitality outfits in the country, opened in 1894, initially to cater for tourist hunters from abroad. Currently it has 65 rooms,which include two suites, six deluxe rooms,34 executive rooms, 23 twins (ordinary rooms) and two meeting halls.
The sales and marketing manager George Dilla said they were sure businesses would pick up after the reopening of the skies for tourists from abroad.
He added that they were also cashing on domestic travellers and local meetings after the easing of Covid-19 restrictions.
Famously known as New Arusha Hotel, the outfit is one of the three five star hotels in Arusha,the others being Mt. Meru Hotel and the recently opened Gran Melia.
Major hotels in Arusha closed during the worrying phase of Covid-19 outbreak but have cautiously reopened recently after government assurance that tourism would bounce back.